“Blade Runner 2049” is (finally) just a week away from release. But before you see it, which version of the original “Blade Runner” should audiences watch before the sequel hits theaters?
That’s not as easy a question as it sounds. There are eight different versions of the 1982 film directed by Ridley Scott, including two different director’s cuts and several different endings. So which one did “Blade Runner 2049” director Denis Villeneuve look to when making his follow up?
“I think that you might not agree, but the idea was to make sure that someone who knows nothing about the universe can still enjoy the movie, having enough clues and background in the movie,” Villeneuve tells TheWrap. “So now, me, I feel that personally I love the very original version.”
When pressed if Villeneuve meant the original 1982 theatrical cut of “Blade Runner,” or one of the two test versions shown before the film’s official release,Villeneuve added, “The very first one and the last one, the 2007 very final cut, you know? I have a tendency to go toward the very final cut.”
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In case you don’t know, the very first version is the so-called “Workprint prototype version,” a 113-minute long test cut with a different ending from the theatrical cut.
The 1982 theatrical cut meanwhile, runs 116 minutes, features extended narration by Harrison Ford, and ends on a relatively happy note.
Meanwhile, the 2007 “Final Cut” is the only version over which Ridley Scott had complete control. It features the full version of the “unicorn dream” which no version has ever included, as well as additional scenes featured in the 1982 international release.
All three versions were released as part of a 5-disc “Ultimate Edition” in 2007.
“Blade Runner 2049,” written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, is set several decades after Ridley Scott’s 1982 original, which Fancher also had a hand in writing. The movies are based on Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.”
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new Blade Runner, LAPD Officer K (Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista and Ana de Armas star in the sequel to Ridley Scott’s original.
“Blade Runner 2049” opens in theaters on Oct. 6.